somewhere far | Michael McSweeney

today at the coffee shop

I call part-time home,

the sun bleaches the windows

& voices mingle with the hum

of the coffee machine

& the shuffle of dollars

in & out of the register.

customers come & go,

their fingers smudging the doors.

I think of you,

how you used to come each day to kiss

the rim of a porcelain cup

& talk to me about the history of revolutions

& all the nice cats you'd met around campus.

next I knew I was with you,

finding truths on aimless drives

down starlit highways,

finding truths in the maw of warm sheets

& tobacco tendrils through your window,

finding truths on a bygone beach

as thunderstorms gnawed the coast

with their lightning-strike jaws,

& finding truths at the coffee shop table

when you finally stood up

& walked away from my bullshit.

at the end of the day business here is slow,

butter slow, & the women & men of every creed,

still gripping their laptops & begging for jobs,

drape themselves across chairs like forgotten clothes.

they smile at me & look away with opiated eyes.

I think of you, somewhere far,

enjoying yourself, & remember

that I never actually said goodbye.


so I say it here, to all & no one,

hand out cups of simmering hope

& win you back inside my head.


Michael McSweeney is a writer and editor who lives in Brooklyn with his partner and cat. He lives online at @mpmcsweeney.